Alaska has a real food culture, says author Julia O’Malley: It includes subsistence foods, day-old Krispy Kremes and plenty of longing

Where do muktuk, spam musubi and hot Tang intersect?

Well, at least in one place, in a book out now by Alaska journalist and food writer Julia O’Malley (who, full disclosure, works at Alaska Public Media).

The book is called “The Whale and the Cupcake: Stories of Subsistence, Longing and Community in Alaska,” and it’s in collaboration with the Anchorage Museum.

In “The Whale and the Cupcake,” O’Malley writes about the intersection of traditional, subsistence foods, new influences and a mix of different cultures that makes Alaska’s food so interesting.

O’Malley spoke with Alaska Public Media’s Casey Grove.

Related Content:

In this Alaska Insight episode from October 12, 2018, Julia O’Malley spoke with Lori Townsend about preparing for her museum exhibit, “What Why How We Eat,” and working on her book, “The Whale and the Cupcake.”

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Casey Grove is the host of Alaska News Nightly and a general assignment reporter at Alaska Public Media with an emphasis on crime and courts. Reach him at